The Emory men's basketball team closed out a successful road weekend of conference play on Sunday with a victory over Case Western Reserve University. The No. 13-ranked Eagles raised their overall record to 18-4, 9-2 in the University Athletic Association, with a 75-72 decision over the Spartans who slipped to 12-10 overall, 6-5 in the league.
Freshman Romin Williams led the Emory scoring attack with 20 points, sinking six-of-12 field goal attempts, including three-of-five from the arc, along with five throws in six opportunities in notching his 17th double-figure scoring effort of the season and fifth of 20 or more points. Senior Christopher Avant came through with 15 points, his 14th double-digit outing of the campaign, converting five-of-10 from the floor, including a pair of treys, and three-of-four from the stripe. Senior Whit Rapp rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points while doling out nine assists.
After the Spartans opened the second half with six straight points to take a 42-38 lead, the Eagles responded with a 9-0 burst with Avant, Rapp and Williams all knocking down three-pointers. Another triple by Williams extended Emory's lead to 50-44 before a 7-2 Case run cut the Eagles' margin to 52-51 with 10:27 on the clock. Emory then accounted for the game's next six points, ignited by a Williams three-pointer and capped by an Avant bucket, moving Emory to a 60-52 advantage, but five straight points by CWRU's TJ Duckett cut the Emory lead to three points. A jumper by Beau Bommarito gave the Eagles a 65-60 cushion with 3:50 remaining, but CWRU registered a 7-1 blitz, finished by a three-pointer by Ignas Masiulionis, to take a 67-66 lead with 2:40 left. The Eagles quickly regained control with Bommarito hitting a three-pointer and junior Gebereal Baitey converting on a drive to the rim. After a pair of makes at the stripe by Rapp boosted Emory to a 73-69 lead with 36 ticks on the clock, Masiulionis hit another triple to draw the Spartans to within one point. Williams was fouled with 14 seconds left and calmly sank a pair from the foul line, giving the Eagles a 75-72 advantage. The Spartans had a chance to tie but misfired on a three-point try in the waning seconds.
Emory ended the game shooting 43.3 percent (26-60) from the floor, including 40 percent (10-25) from three-point range. In addition, the Eagles were solid at the free throw line, sinking 81.3 percent (13-16) of their opportunities. CWRU ended the game with a 42.4 percent (28 of 66) effort from the floor, but were successful on just 23.3 percent (7-30) from distance. Masiulionis led the Spartans with 20 points while Duckett turned in a 19-point, 14-rebound afternoon. Emory finished with a 38-37 edge in rebounding with Bommarito leading the squad with six boards.
In a closely-played first half that saw each team lead by as many as six points on one occasion, the Eagles trailed by a 33-27 count with 4:28 left in the stanza after the Spartans' Michael Volkening nailed a three-point field goal. Emory then regrouped and outpointed CWRU by an 11-3 margin over the final 4:03 to claim a 38-36 edge heading into the break. Rapp started the run with a triple while Williams contributed a pair of buckets. The Eagles were successful on 48.4 percent (15-31) of their field goal attempts, compared to Case Western's 39.5 percent (15-38). Emory converted four-11 three-point attempts while the Spartans launched 16 attempts from distance, making four. Williams topped Emory with 10 points while Adam Gigax chipped in seven points. Monty Khela topped the Spartans with 10 points.
Emory returns to action next Friday (Feb. 16) when it hosts New York University in an 8:00 pm start.